April 2012 Archives

Parents Take Note: These Tips Can Help You Protect Your Children from Bicycle Accident Injuries

April 30, 2012,

About 400,000 children are treated in emergency rooms every year for bicycle-related injuries. Though there are some crashes over which you have no control, Orange County parents can prepare their kids to avoid the some of the most common, and dangerous, bicycle accidents by following some of these recommendations. 402845_kids_on_bicycles.jpg

Be Properly Prepared:

Fit and adjust your child's bicycle helmet to his or her head. The importance of wearing a helmet cannot be over-emphasized as it is the primary means by which you can make sure that your child is protected from traumatic and life-altering head and brain injuries.

Following you helmet adjustments, it is importance that you complete a bike tune-up for your child's bicycle. This means wiping off and cleaning the frame, making sure all the bolts are tight, lubricating the chain, inflating the tires and checking the brakes. These simple tasks can be of great help in preventing common accidents like a chain breaking or getting a flat tire.

Practice Often:

Hazards beyond you or your child's control, like rocks on the ground, potholes, or even toys, present a serious danger because kids often don't understand what to look for or what to avoid. By practicing maneuvering through traffic cones or garbage cans in an obstacle course on your lawn or in the park, your child will also get used to the motions of avoiding objects in the road or sidewalk; and if they fall, it will be on the grass instead of pavement.

Road Rules:

Parents should not underestimate the importance of teaching their children the rules of the road. Your kids should know the sidewalk basics: look both ways, stay to the right, keep a safe distance from other bikes or people, and let others know you're coming.

Continue reading "Parents Take Note: These Tips Can Help You Protect Your Children from Bicycle Accident Injuries" »

CHP Warning: Orange County Drivers Should Exercise Caution While Driving on Wet Roads

April 27, 2012,

The Orange County Register published an article this week cautioning Orange County drivers that they must change their driving habits in order to maintain their own safety and the safety of the drivers around them during the current and upcoming rainy days. Dozens of car accidents were reported on the unusually wet freeways of Orange County this week. Some vehicles even hydroplaned, spinning off the road. 447259_rainy_day2.jpg

According to the Orange County Register, the California Highway Patrol "advises drivers to slow down and leave more space between cars".

Several other crashes have been reported, including:

  • A vehicle was in the bushes at 6:30 a.m. near the Magnolia Street on-ramp to the eastbound 22.

  • At about 6:05 a.m., a Chevy Tahoe appeared to have crashed into a right-shoulder fence on the northbound I-5 just south of Jamboree Road. No injuries were reported.

  • A truck was down the embankment just after 6 a.m. at the Harbor Boulevard on-ramp to the northbound 405, tying up traffic there.

  • A vehicle spun out at about 4:45 a.m. on the westbound 91 just west of Knott Avenue
As an Orange County personal injury attorney, I know that car accidents are very frequent in Orange County even when it is sunny and 75 degrees outside. Wet roadways can only add to the incredible danger associated with driving. Unfortunately, the victims of car accidents are often forced to pay the bill. Because this is the case, victims of these accidents would greatly benefit from the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney.

Continue reading "CHP Warning: Orange County Drivers Should Exercise Caution While Driving on Wet Roads" »

Bicyclist Badly Injured After Being Struck By Vehicle in Placentia

April 26, 2012,

A bicyclist was injured after being struck by a Cadillac in Placentia this past week. According to the Orange County Register and Capt. Marc Stone of the Orange County Fire Authority, paramedics were called just after 10 a.m. to Kraemer and Yorba Linda boulevards. The bicycle ended up under the front end of the Cadillac Deville Councours. The rider was taken to UCI Medical Center with serious personal injuries. The crash is now under investigation.823863_bike_taking_a_rest.jpg

The most unfortunate thing about this bicycle accident story is that it is not a surprising or infrequent one in our bicycle-rich community. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, anaverage of 750 bicyclists are killed annually in crashes with motor vehicles and 45,000 are injured. This figure is staggering and tragic. This is especially disturbing to members of our community living in area where riding their bicycle is typical, either for transportation or recreational uses.

So, given these odds, what can bicyclists do to ensure that they are not the victims of such horrific accidents? The bike safety website bicyclesafe.com recommends the following to bicyclists:

  • Get a headlight

  • Honk - purchase a loud horn and use it when a car is approaching

  • Slow down

  • Don't stop or stay in a car's blind spot

  • Look behind you before making a right-hand turn

  • Wear something bright, even during the day

  • Purchase and use a mirror

  • Use arm signals

  • Choose wider, less busy streets

  • Rethink the use of cell phones and music players

Continue reading "Bicyclist Badly Injured After Being Struck By Vehicle in Placentia" »

Orange County Parents Take Note: 30% of Teens Injured in Car Accidents Suffer Dangerous Head Injuries

April 25, 2012,

New research has found that 30 percent of teens injured in car accidents suffer head injuries. The most common of these head injuries are concussions, skull fractures and traumatic brain injuries (TBI). The study, headed by the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, examined car crashes involving more than 55,000 drivers and passengers (ages 15 to 19) who were seriously injured in 2009 and 2010. 686170_teenagers_hope.jpg

These statistics are unnerving but, unfortunately, not surprising. As an Orange County personal injury lawyer, I have written, in the past, about national statistics that suggest that over 730,000 young drivers between the ages of 15-18 were involved in police-reported car crashes in 2009. As a result of these accidents, 280,000 people were injured and 2,805 were killed. Moreover, teens are 50% more likely to crash in the first month of driving by themselves than after a full year of experience and 57% of the crashes in which teens were at fault or partially at fault involved three common errors - failure to reduce speed, inattention, and failure to yield. The most disturbing piece of new information to come out of this research is the traumatic brain injury element. Of the excessively large number of teens involved in dangerous car accidents, 30 percent sustain traumatic brain injuries.

Another topic we have discussed several times on this blog is the myriad dangers associated with traumatic brain injuries and the often underestimated dangers presented by simple concussions. These injuries can have catastrophic effects on teens who suffer from them and they are often difficult to detect. Traumatic brain injuries can be caused by seemingly innocuous concussions, sustained very easily in the course of regular daily activity. They call concussions the "silent injury" for a reason - there are oftentimes no visible signs of abnormality. Moreover, there is no definitive way of deciding whether or not someone sustained a traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Continue reading "Orange County Parents Take Note: 30% of Teens Injured in Car Accidents Suffer Dangerous Head Injuries" »

Hit-and-Run Accident in Costa Mesa Leaves Teenage Bicyclist with Serious Injuries

April 24, 2012,

The Orange County Register reported this week that police are searching for the driver of a dark-colored sedan that hit a teenage bicyclist and fled early in the morning. The teen suffered personal injuries in the early morning crash and authorities said the driver left the area in a gray, four-door sedan. The crash was reported at 5:52 a.m. near Harbor Boulevard and Gisler Avenue. Police believe the vehicle - either a Nissan or Toyota - received minor front-end damage. 996215_the_crash.jpg

Unfortunately, this is the type of accident our community, and our personal injury firm, has seen before. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an average of 750 bicyclists are killed annually in crashes with motor vehicles and 45,000 are injured. This figure is staggering and tragic. This is especially disturbing to members of our community living in area where riding their bicycle is typical, either for transportation or recreational uses. Bicycle accidents, like this one, are difficult to prevent in that drivers cannot be forced to pay attention to the road and the bicyclists in close proximity to them.

Continue reading "Hit-and-Run Accident in Costa Mesa Leaves Teenage Bicyclist with Serious Injuries" »

College Students Ignore the Dangers of Drunk Driving and Regularly Get Behind the Wheel After Binge-Drinking, Study Says

April 23, 2012,

According to a recent campus survey conducted at Orange Coast College, even though college students know that drunk driving can lead to fatal consequences, there are still an alarming number of students that continue to binge drink before getting behind the wheel of a car. The findings were released by the "Do It for Cara Lee: Be the Designated Driver" program.
1156122_another_beer.jpg

Lee, a former OCC student, was fatally injured in an Orange County car crash on February 14, 2010. The accident occurred when the vehicle she was in was struck by another car operated by Gustavo Adrian Vega, another student at Orange Coast College. At the time, he was driving under the influence. Last year, Vega was sentenced to over 20 years behind bars.

According to the OCC survey, which polled 434 students (65% of them are of legal drinking age) 15% of participants admitted to binge drinking 3 to 5 times in the past month, while 3% of the males and 6% of the females admitted to binging on alcohol at least 10 times. The study also found that most students do not ride with a designated driver. Many of the students surveyed did not even understand the meaning of the term.

As Orange County personal injury attorneys, we are well aware of the dangers and consequences of drunk driving, and we have tried to educate our clients and our community with news stories and statistics like the following from Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), who have found that, "California ranks 21st in DUI deaths nationally with 29 percent of the our fatal road deaths attributed to DUI". Unfortunately, stories and studies like this one remain at the forefront of the Orange County news cycle.

Continue reading "College Students Ignore the Dangers of Drunk Driving and Regularly Get Behind the Wheel After Binge-Drinking, Study Says" »

Motorcyclist Sustains Major Personal Injuries in Crash on the 91 Freeway

April 20, 2012,

A motorcyclist sustained serious personal injuries after colliding with an SUV on Thursday morning on the westbound 91. According to the Orange County Register, the crash was reported at about 5:40 a.m. just east of Lakeview Avenue. CHP officer Gabe Montoya said that, "the California Highway Patrol issued a SigAlert for both FasTrak lanes and diverted that traffic into the No. 1 lane of the freeway". The motorcyclist suffered major personal injuries. k2-gsxr-485.jpg

According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Authority (NHTSA), in 2008 5,290 motorcyclists were killed and 96,000 were injured. These figures had increased 2 percent from the 2007 numbers. Moreover, 47% (2,554) of all motorcycles involved in fatal crashes collided with another type of vehicle while in transport. This increase in the number of injuries and fatalities does not suggest that the dangers of driving a motorcycle will diminish in the near future.

Motorcycle accidents oftentimes lead to catastrophic injuries and, in cases like this one, even wrongful deaths. This is because the driver of the motorcycle and his/her passenger is in an unusually vulnerable position. This vulnerability is illustrated by the fact that even at lower speeds, a motorcycle is no match for other vehicles on the road. If a motorcycle rider is struck by another vehicle- like the pick-up truck in this case - the consequences are often devastating. Unfortunately, these accidents are often caused by negligent, careless and reckless drivers on the road.

Whether injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents are mild or catastrophic, or if deaths occur, the costs of hospital visits, physical rehabilitation, and loss of current and future wages are very large and can prove extremely burdensome for Orange County families. Given all of these costs, along with the task of dealing with insurance companies, it would be truly beneficial for victims of these types of accidents to contact an experienced personal injury attorney. If you, or a member of your family, have been injured in a motorcycle accident and are facing the mounting costs of medical care, etc., please do not hesitate to contact the Law Offices of Cohn & Swartzon.

Continue reading "Motorcyclist Sustains Major Personal Injuries in Crash on the 91 Freeway" »

Non-Crash Car Accidents Pose Underestimated Danger to Orange County Children

April 19, 2012,

Candace Adair's 22-month-old son, Shane, was accidentally backed over by a pickup truck in a neighbor's driveway. It happened in the time it took Adair to run inside the house and double-check that the stove was turned off.When they got to Phoenix Children's Hospital, Adair and her husband were informed that their son Shane was not expected to make it through the night. Automobile-Backup-Camera.jpg

P. David Adelson, M.D., a pediatric neurosurgeon and director of the hospital's Children's Neurosciences Institute used a whole-body cooling technique to help reduce the swelling in Shane's brain.

Shane was in a coma for the next two weeks, with his family by his side at all times. One day he opened his eyes and smiled. Within a few weeks he was talking and playing games with his siblings. Two months after the accident, Shane was finally sent home. He still needs weekly therapy. He also continues to struggle with light sensitivity, headaches, and some paralysis on the left side of his face. But his parents are grateful that their little boy is alive.

Not every child is as lucky as Shane. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 262 children under the age of 14 were killed in non-crash car accidents in driveways or parking lots in 2007. Approximately 115,000 more kids suffered injuries. These injuries and deaths can be greatly reduced with the use of "back-up cameras."

Unfortunately the victims of this type of unfortunate car accident are forced to pay the bill. Because this is the case, victims of these accidents would greatly benefit from the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney. If you, or someone you know, has been injured in a pedestrian accident or car accident, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Offices of Cohn & Swartzon.

Continue reading "Non-Crash Car Accidents Pose Underestimated Danger to Orange County Children" »

Neuropsychiatric Disorders Demonstrate the Extensive Effects of Traumatic Brain Injuries

April 17, 2012,

As an Orange County personal injury lawyer, I have written in the past about the serious, but often underestimated dangers presented by simple concussions and the long-lasting effects of traumatic brain injuries. These injuries can have catastrophic effects on children and adults who suffer from them. Traumatic brain injuries do pose a true danger to adults and children, alike. According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC), traumatic brain injury, "is caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain". 880737_brain_001.jpg

The CDC has calculated that of the 1.7 million people who sustain a traumatic brain injury:

  • 52,000 die,

  • 275,000 are hospitalized, and

  • 1.365 million, nearly 80%, are treated and released from an emergency department.
Those who follow this blog regularly know all of this. But what you may not know is that there is a whole list of potential Neuropsychiatric Disorders that can result from Traumatic Brain Injuries. Some of these disorders include:
  • Delirium and Post-Traumatic Confusion

  • Mood Disorders

  • Psychotic Disorders

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

  • Personality Change

  • Aggressive Disorders

  • Mild Brain Injury

  • Post Traumatic Epilepsy

Delirium and Post-Traumatic Confusion

Delirium is a mental state between a technical Coma and normal consciousness. Delirium is an abnormal state of consciousness and is characterized by inattentiveness, abnormality of language and thought, motor and affective changes, and disturbance of the sleep cycle.

Psychotic Disorders

A predisposition to psychotic illness following brain injury in childhood has been well documented. But there is also substantial evidence of elevated psychosis among those exposed to Traumatic Brain Injury.

Personality Change

Personality Change is shown to be related to Traumatic Brain Injury. Studies of patients with TBI find that the most significant problems at 1, 5, and 15 years post-injury are personality changes.

Aggressive Disorders
These symptoms of aggression are most frequently mischaracterized in TBI cases. But aggression has long been linked to Traumatic Brain Injury. Irritability and aggressiveness are significant disabilities for people with TBI as well as a source of stress for those around them.

Mild Brain Injury

There are three generally accepted definitions of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury from the Centers of Disease Control, the World Health Organization, and the American Congress of Rehabilitative Medicine. There is overlap in these definitions. A main point is that Mild Traumatic Brain Injury can be diagnosed without a loss of consciousness. An altered state of consciousness is sufficient.

Post Traumatic Epilepsy

Trauma is one of the most identifiable causes for the development of Epilepsy. It occurs in roughly 20% of the cases of symptomatic Epilepsy.

Continue reading "Neuropsychiatric Disorders Demonstrate the Extensive Effects of Traumatic Brain Injuries" »

Brea Car Accident Causes Major Injuries to Multiple Drivers

April 16, 2012,

A major car accident occurred late last week in Brea. The crash blocked both directions of Brea Canyon Road and caused major injuries to those involved. According to the Orange County Register, "it appears that the driver of a Chevrolet S10 pickup was traveling northbound on Brea Canyon when she hit the right shoulder guardrail". Then, the truck entered back into the lanes, sideswiped a Honda sedan traveling southbound. It then collided, head on, into another Honda Civic. m2bomd-m2bojy05.crash.brea.041211.bbc.jpg Photos courtesy of Bruce Chambers, The Orange County Register.

The drivers of both the Chevrolet pickup and the Honda Civic were removed from their damaged vehicles and quickly taken to nearby hospitals for treatment of injuries. The driver of the Civic eventually succumbed to his injuries. Additionally, a female passenger of the Chevrolet pickup was also hospitalized.

As an Orange County personal injury attorney, I know that accidents like this one are very frequent in Orange County and affect our community in a highly critical way. Moreover, it is clear that the frequency of new stories like this does not suggest that accidents like of this sort will become less frequent in the near future. The nature of these accidents is quite unfortunate in that they typically hold the victims of these accidents responsible for the myriad costs associated with the crash. Because this is the case, victims of these accidents would greatly benefit from the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney.

Continue reading "Brea Car Accident Causes Major Injuries to Multiple Drivers" »

Consumers Take Note: NHTSA Launches Investigation into Engine Fires in 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Sedans and 2010 Jeep Wranglers

April 13, 2012,

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has just announced that it is launching an official investigation into dangerous engine fires involving 2010 Jeep Wrangler SUVs and 2011 Chevrolet Cruze sedans. The NHTSA has received several unnerving reports of unexpected engine compartment fires that have completely destroyed these vehicles manufacured by Chrysler and General Motors. 2012_chevrolet_cruze_sedan_2lt_fq_oem_1_300.jpg

There have been two reported incidents of engine fires with the Chevrolet Cruze in the last two months. This is despite the Cruze being one of the best-selling vehicles in GM's line-up. As for Chrysler's Jeep Wrangler SUVs, seven of the eight reported engine fire incidents were reported to have occurred while the vehicle was being operated.

According to Consumer Reports magazine, the NHTSA's Office of Defect Investigation has already received some preliminary data related to the Cruze fires, but it will continue to investigate with the manufacturers to determine the causes of the engine fires in the Cruze and Jeep Wrangler SUVs. Alerts will be issued by the NHTSA itself should a recall for either of the vehicles be required.

Continue reading "Consumers Take Note: NHTSA Launches Investigation into Engine Fires in 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Sedans and 2010 Jeep Wranglers " »

Bicyclists and Drivers Be Aware: Young Bicyclist Killed in Orange County Car Accident

April 12, 2012,

The danger both of driving in California and of being in or near California traffic are, unfortunately, far too numerous. The verity of this fact was confirmed by a truly unfortunate car accident that took place in Whittier this past week. A driver who was backing up out of a parking space struck and killed a young bicyclist named Rosalinda Manzanares. The accident occurred in a shopping center parking lot at Broadway and Norwalk Boulevard. A 78-year-old woman named Angelica Cuevas very suddenly accelerated while her Toyota was in reverse. Her vehicle crashed into Manzanares who was on her bicycle. Paramedics arrived on the scene quickly thereafter and pronounced the young cyclist dead at the scene. Authorities are still investigating the accident.

The most unfortunate thing about this story is that it is not a surprising or infrequent one in our bicycle-rich community. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, anaverage of 750 bicyclists are killed annually in crashes with motor vehicles and 45,000 are injured. This figure is staggering and tragic. This is especially disturbing to members of our community living in area where riding their bicycle is typical, either for transportation or recreational uses. Irvine is one of these places.

So, given these odds, what can bicyclists do to ensure that they are not the victims of such horrific bicycle accidents? The bike safety website bicyclesafe.com recommends the following to bicyclists:

  • Get a headlight

  • Honk - purchase a loud horn and use it when a car is approaching

  • Slow down

  • Don't stop or stay in a car's blind spot

  • Look behind you before making a right-hand turn

  • Wear something bright, even during the day

  • Purchase and use a mirror

  • Use arm signals

  • Choose wider, less busy streets

  • Rethink the use of cell phones and music players

Continue reading "Bicyclists and Drivers Be Aware: Young Bicyclist Killed in Orange County Car Accident" »

Mulitiple Car Crash in Orange Leaves Two Orange County Motorists with Serious Injuries

April 11, 2012,

In Orange two drivers were just injured in a truly unfortunate car accident. According to Orange Police, the crash was reported at approximately 7:55 a.m. on La Veta Avenue and Cambridge Street. Orange's Police Sargent, Jeff Bird, believes that the driver of a Honda Accord was attempting to make a U-turn when the vehicle was struck by the driver of a BMW X5. The driver of the BMW apparently did not see the Honda until she actually collided with the driver's side of his vehicle. The Honda then spun across the street and struck another vehicle, a Toyota Corolla. Shortly thereafter fifteen firefighters were at the scene of the collision and cut away the driver's side doors and roof of the Honda in order to rescue the driver. The driver of the Honda sustained serious injuries and was quickly taken to Western Medical Center while the driver of the BMW X5 was taken UCI Medical Center. (Photo courtesy of the Orange County Register) m22glt-m22gcu02.or.tc.040712.bbc.jpg

As an Orange County personal injury attorney, I know that accidents like this one are very frequent in Orange County and affect our community in a critical way. The frequency of new stories like this does not suggest that accidents like this one will become less frequent in the near future. Moreover, the unfortunate nature of these accidents typically requires that the victims of these accidents be forced to pay the bill. Because this is the case, victims of these accidents would greatly benefit from the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney.

Continue reading "Mulitiple Car Crash in Orange Leaves Two Orange County Motorists with Serious Injuries" »

45-Year-Old Anaheim Pedestrian Killed in Hit-and-Run Accident

April 10, 2012,

Last week, a 45-year-old woman was killed in a hit-and-run accident in Anaheim. The accident occurred at Stanton Avenue near Beach Boulevard where authorities found the victim lying on the road. They say it was apparent that her injuries were consistent with those sustained by an individual who was hit by a vehicle. Once discovered, the victim was quickly transported to the hospital where she is being treated for serious injuries. Authorities are still investigating the incident and looking to identify the driver. 521423_push_button_to_walk.jpg

Unfortunately, this woman's accident is not the type of accident that is rare in Orange County. According to the California Highway Patrol's 2009 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), a total of 596 pedestrians were killed after being struck by a vehicle. Unfortunately, the frequency of new stories like this one do not suggest that these numbers will decline in the near future. Pedestrian accidents like this one, are difficult to prevent in that drivers cannot be forced to pay attention to the road and the pedestrians in close proximity to them. However, the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) does stress that in a crosswalk, the pedestrian has the right of way, and that drivers must, "look for pedestrians and be prepared to stop". Awareness is crucial. If drivers were attentive when making a turn through a crosswalk, they would see the pedestrian and, hopefully, respect the pedestrian's lawful right of way.

Continue reading "45-Year-Old Anaheim Pedestrian Killed in Hit-and-Run Accident" »

Parents Be Mindful: Study Shows Young Girls More Likely to Be Distracted While Driving

April 6, 2012,

A recent study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Safety focused on the driving habits of newly licensed, unsupervised drivers. The controversial study has found an alarming discrepancy between the sexes when it comes to distracted driving. According to AAA study, newly licensed girls are twice as likely as boys to take their attention off the road to use their cellphone or engage in other distracting activities. What can we, as a community, do to protect our young people and their fellow motorists from the dangers of inattentive driving? 683316_mobile_communications.jpg

As a personal injury attorney in an era that is increasingly driven by the popularity and prevalence of technology and, specifically, cell phone use, I am well aware of the dangers associated with motorists who operate their vehicles while using mobile devices. The National Transportation Safety Board announced that it is encouraging all states to adopt a ban on the use of cell phones while driving. California has already adopted this ban. Banning the use of all types of mobile devices by drivers seems like a wise idea in that it would remove the temptation of those technology-era teenagers, especially young girls, to retreat to their old finger-dialing habits. Further, this may be an important time to take action, especially given the findings of a recent study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The NHTSA found that, despite the fact that almost all of the states have enacted laws prohibiting cell phone usage while driving, texting while driving has actually increased by 50% in the past year. As of 2009, the U.S. Department of Transportation reported that approximately 5,500 people died and half a million were injured in accidents involving a distracted driver. To think that the number of people texting while driving has since increased is shocking.

Continue reading "Parents Be Mindful: Study Shows Young Girls More Likely to Be Distracted While Driving" »

Defective Hip Implants Leave Consumers Open to Tremendous Risk

April 5, 2012,

We have written in the past about the risks, hazards, and defects associated with metal hip implants. There have been several recalls of metal hip implants produced by some of the most reputable companies around. Johnson & Johnson's DePuy ASR implants were no exception. The onslaught of problems is the primary reason for Johnson & Johnson's phasing out of their DePuy ASR implants. It should be noted by consumers that the phase-out process allows a manufacturer to retire a device gracefully, despite the fact that a full-blown hip implant recall is warranted in this case. depuy_hip_implant-300x288.jpg

The problems with these metal hip implants, discovered by many surgeons, could have been found and corrected had the adequate pre-market studies and regulation been implemented. If Johnson & Johnson had done the required due-diligence, there would be a lot fewer people with hip implant problems. In 2009, the FDA told Johnson & Johnson that it was rejecting the DePuy ASR hip resurfacing system. The letter further cautioned Johnson & Johnson that all of the DePuy metal-on-metal implants were potentially dangerous because of metal poisoning problems. Despite this warning, these implants are still being implanted into patients.

Continue reading "Defective Hip Implants Leave Consumers Open to Tremendous Risk" »

Pedestrian Accident Results In Death of 84-Year-Old Anaheim Man

April 4, 2012,

Last week, an 84-year-old man named Herbert Hamilton died in a car accident in Anaheim. Hamilton was struck by a white Dodge Caravan while crossing the street at the intersection of Lincoln Avenue and Clementine Street in Anaheim. Shortly after being transported to the hospital, the elderly man died as a result of the catastrophic injuries he had sustained. Despite the frequency of these accidents, drivers remain inattentive and, subsequently, a serious danger to pedestrians. 747725_pedestrian_sign_3.jpg

As I've mentioned previously, according to the California Highway Patrol's 2009 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), a total of 596 pedestrians were killed after being struck by a vehicle. Unfortunately, the frequency of new stories like this one do not suggest that these numbers will decline in the near future. Pedestrian accidents like this one are difficult to prevent in that it is virtually impossible to force drivers to pay attention to the road and the pedestrians who are in close proximity to them. However, the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) does stress that in a crosswalk, the pedestrian has the right of way, and that drivers must, "look for pedestrians and be prepared to stop". Awareness is crucial. If drivers were attentive when making a turn through a crosswalk, they would see the pedestrian and, hopefully, respect the pedestrian's lawful right of way.

Continue reading "Pedestrian Accident Results In Death of 84-Year-Old Anaheim Man" »

Drunk Driving Accident Results in Death of 32-Year-Old Motorcyclist

April 3, 2012,

A 32-year-old motorcyclist died and a 27-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence after being involved in a traffic crash in Irvine this past Thursday night. The 32-year-old motorcyclist from Tustin suffered fatal injuries. The driver of the Sentra that hit the man, however, was hospitalized with only minor injuries. 032312 motorcycle crash.jpg

According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Authority (NHTSA), in 2008 5,290 motorcyclists were killed and 96,000 were injured. These figures had increased 2 percent from the 2007 numbers. Moreover, 47% (2,554) of all motorcycles involved in fatal crashes collided with another type of vehicle while in transport. This increase in the number of injuries and fatalities does not suggest that the dangers of driving a motorcycle will diminish in the near future. Motorcycle accidents oftentimes lead to catastrophic injuries and, in cases like this one, even wrongful deaths. This is because the driver of the motorcycle and his/her passenger is in an unusually vulnerable position. This vulnerability is illustrated by the fact that even at lower speeds, a motorcycle is no match for other vehicles on the road. If a motorcycle rider is struck by another vehicle- like the Sentra in this case - the consequences are often devastating. Unfortunately, these accidents are often caused by negligent, careless and reckless drivers on the road.

Continue reading "Drunk Driving Accident Results in Death of 32-Year-Old Motorcyclist" »

Bicycle Lanes or Sharrows? Experts Debate Which is Truly Beneficial to the Safety of Bicyclists

April 2, 2012,

Recently, a debate has been sparked over what type of lane structure is most beneficial to individuals riding bikes. Some experts generally hold that bicycle lanes create a false sense of security and tend to increase bicycle collisions, specifically at intersections. Many believe that although sharrows, or shared roadways in which bikes and cars share the lanes, may annoy and slow the travel of some drivers, sharrows give bicyclists a genuine sense of safety and the bicyclists know the city agrees with their style of riding. sharrowPhoto.jpg

The other side of the debate yields experts that make the argument that bicycle lanes are more beneficial because they tend to increase the amount of bicyclists on the road and calm the streets. They argue further that intersections are not a major problem and that it is really a matter of bicyclists and drivers being aware of each other. They also hold that some bicyclists may not feel comfortable riding in the vehicle lane.

This debate, and the information it yields, is pertinent in our community because bicycle accidents are far too common in Orange County. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an average of 750 bicyclists are killed annually in crashes with motor vehicles and 45,000 are injured. This figure is staggering and tragic. This is especially disturbing to members of our community living in area where riding their bicycle is typical, either for transportation or recreational uses. Irvine is one of these places.

So, given these odds, what can bicyclists do to ensure that they are not the victims of such horrific accidents? The bike safety website bicyclesafe.com recommends the following to bicyclists:

  • Get a headlight

  • Honk - purchase a loud horn and use it when a car is approaching

  • Slow down

  • Don't stop or stay in a car's blind spot

  • Look behind you before making a right-hand turn

  • Wear something bright, even during the day

  • Purchase and use a mirror

  • Use arm signals

  • Choose wider, less busy streets

  • Rethink the use of cell phones and music players

Continue reading "Bicycle Lanes or Sharrows? Experts Debate Which is Truly Beneficial to the Safety of Bicyclists" »